Universal will not be releasing Blumhouse’s The Hunt on Sept. 27 as planned. Deadline hears that a collective decision was made by Universal leadership, led by Donna Langley, with The Hunt filmmaking team. For this particular film, it’s better to wait.
The news of Universal canceling The Hunt comes in the wake of putting the brakes on the pic’s marketing campaign in the wake of the El Paso, TX; Dayton, OH; and Gilroy, CA mass shootings.
The studio released the following statement this morning: “While Universal Pictures had already paused the marketing campaign for The Hunt, after thoughtful consideration, the studio has decided to cancel our plans to release the film. We stand by our filmmakers and will continue to distribute films in partnership with bold and visionary creators, like those associated with this satirical social thriller, but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film.”
No official plans as to what happens to The Hunt now. It could come back at a latter date for a theatrical release, or it could go to streaming once Comcast launches that service.
The Hunt follows 12 red-state strangers who wake up in a clearing and realize that they’re being hunted by liberals. Betty Gilpin and Oscar winner Hilary Swank play women on opposite sides of the political spectrum, conservative and liberal, who are targeting each other. Craig Zobel directed the movie which was written by Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof.
Yesterday President Donald Trump went after Hollywood, in what was perceived by the media as an alluded slam to Universal’s The Hunt, “You talk about racist — Hollywood is racist. What they’re doing, with the kind of movies they’re putting out — it’s actually very dangerous for our country,”
“What Hollywood is doing is a tremendous disturbance to our country,” claimed Trump. Dominic Patten covered the news yesterday and how the town called “Bullsh*t” on POTUS.
Variety reported this morning that Swank, who was appearing at the Locarno Film Festival, told reporters and former Screen Daily Editor-in-Chief Mike Goodridge today that she would not be discussing The Hunt, saying, “No one’s seen the film. You can’t really have a conversation about it without understanding what it’s about.”
That said, Swank did have something to say about Trump and in the current entertainment climate, saying, “My desire to tell certain stories has always been the same, no matter who the president is…The choices that I’ve made pretty much inform who I am as a person, and that’s not going to change no matter what’s happening.”
Last weekend, ESPN yanked an ad for The Hunt that it had previously approved. However, AMC aired a spot for the Blumhouse movie during its season premiere of The Preacher. On Wednesday, Universal, in it’s initial slowdown of The Hunt, decided to pause the pic’s marketing campaign across outdoor, digital and theatrical.